Japanese researchers have announced that they can use a new metal oxide that will usher in a new-generation of Blu-ray Discs that are able to store up to 200 times the capacity of the Blu-ray Discs available today.
If the product is fully developed successfully, this means that we could see single layer Blu-ray Discs storing close to 5 TB (200 x 25 GB) of data in the future.
Research carried out by Japanese professor Shinichi Okoshi, who teaches at the University of Tokyo, also demonstrated that the metal oxide is cheaper and easier to manufacture than materials currently used in DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.
To put it simply, this new metal oxide is a synthetic material that coats the outside of discs. The black layer is dynamic and allows electricity to pass through in an easier manner than what’s currently offered. If implemented properly, the new discs could store 1,000 times the amount of a single DVD, a massive storage increase when compared to the 25 GB capacity available today.
Researchers plan to work with manufacturers to try and see how quickly their technology can be utilized.
The current DVD and Blu-ray alloy costs more because manufacturers are using rare metals, such as germanium and other pricey compounds. The ability to use common compounds will keep manufacturing costs down – and Okoshi is ready to work with manufacturers to accelerate the use of this new alloy.
The full published study can be found in the May 23 Nature Chemistry science journal.
We’ve seen a few different storage breakthroughs recently that promise drastic capacity increases for Blu-ray in the years to come. Although these new technologies sound extremely promising, very little actual real world prototypes have been seen as of yet. Let’s hope these technologies don’t become vaporware.
Update: As H3rB3i rightly pointed out in the comments below, this new 5 TB disc is not actually a “Blu-ray Disc” and is being referred to as a “super disc” for now. Our apologies for the mix-up.